Orthodontists and dentists share a lot of similarities. The dental experts specialize in providing dental treatment that ensures good oral health. But they work differently in providing dental care.

In order to ensure that you get the best Huntsville family dentistry services, you need to be aware of the similarities and differences between the two dental experts. In this blog, you will learn the main differences between the two so that you can make an informed decision regarding dental treatment.

Dentists: What Do They Do?

Dentists look after a range of oral health problems. They are concerned with ensuring good overall dental health. The dental experts can diagnose common dental problems and offer treatment.

Also known as family or general dentists, dentists look at diseases relating to the teeth, gum, and mouth. They complete a four-year general dental degree. After completing the degree, the general dentists can provide a range of dental care services for all ages such as:

  • Root canals
  • Crowns
  • Fillings
  • Bridges
  • Veneers
  • Teeth Whitening
  • Gum diseases

While dentists also perform orthodontist treatment such as putting braces, they refer patients with complex dental problems to specialized orthodontics.

Orthodontists: What Do They Do?

Dentists are experts in treating a broad range of dental problems. But there are certain areas that require specialized knowledge. Orthodontics is one such area that requires specialized services of orthodontists.

Orthodontists specialize in specific dental treatment options. The dental experts focus on diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of dental issues due to incorrectly aligned bites, teeth, and jaws. The dental experts focus on correcting improper bite and straightening of teeth.

To become an orthodontist, an additional three years of training is required on top of the four-year dental degree. Orthodontists receive specialized knowledge on treating oral and maxillofacial problems. According to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAP), the dental experts specialize in teeth alignment and correct movement of teeth. In practice, orthodontists provide treatment for correcting gaps between teeth, improperly aligned jaws, crooked and protruding teeth.

Also known as oral and maxillofacial surgeons, orthodontists carry on surgery to correct issues with jaws, mouth, facial bones, and associated structure. Some of the problems for which you should consider seeing an orthodontist include the following.

Orthodontists provide corrective oral surgery at a hospital. The surgery is generally performed under anesthetics.


Dentistry is a broad field that covers many issues. General dentists deal with problems related to the teeth and gums. On the other hand, orthodontics is a specialized field. Orthodontists focus on treating issues with the jaws and teeth. They deal with issues relating to in aligned teeth, occlusion, and under or overbites.

So when should you call a dentist and an orthodontist? If you have developed a cavity or severe toothache, you should consider seeing a general dentist. On the other hand, if you experience bite or speech problems due to incorrectly aligned teeth or jaw, you should better get an appointment with an orthodontist.

At the end of the day, both orthodontists and dentists play an important role in ensuring good oral health. The dental experts ensure that your teeth look good and healthy. They may also work together to ensure optimal teeth and gum health.

You will refer to your orthodontists during the orthodontist treatment. But for most of the dental problems, you will visit a general dentist. The general dentist will deal with general dental problems and recommend an expert only in case of serious dental problems that affect your bite.